The Young Vic has announced four new productions and casting for its upcoming revival of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange.
- Isango Ensemble return to the Young Vic with UK premiere of A Man of Good Hope based on the book by Jonny Steinberg (6 October – 12 November)
- Richard Jones directs Kaufman and Hart’s Hollywood satire Once in a Lifetime (25 November 2016 – 14 January 2017)
- Kathryn Hunter and the team behind Kafka’s Monkey present The Emperor, a new work based on the book by Ryszard Kapuściński (3 – 24 September)
- Ian Rickson directs The Nest, Conor McPherson’s new adaptation of the German classic (28 October – 26 November)
- Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris will star in Matthew Xia’s production of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange (12 May – 18 June
Artistic Director David Lan on today’s announcement:
“Nine years ago our co-production with Isango Ensemble of The Magic Flute became an international hit, winning awards and moving audiences across Europe and the US, as well as playing a season in the West End. Our new collaboration with this amazing Cape Town based lyric company of singers and performers is A Man of Good Hope which tells the true story of a refugee from the Somali wars, crossing Africa in search of a new life – which he finds in South Africa. But is it the new life he was looking for? A Young Vic and Isango Ensemble Production, co-produced by Royal Opera and Repons Foundation.
“Of all the great American comedies of the 1930s, Once in a Lifetime is my favourite. Yes, it’s about what happened when the talkies hit Hollywood – but it’s really about a couple of savvy kids trying to make a go of their lives and discovering that intelligence and talent and a genius idea are nearly enough to make it big in show biz – but not quite. It has a warm but not altogether generous heart. We are thrilled that Richard Jones will direct this Kaufman and Hart classic.
“Daniel Kaluuya was a revelation in our A Season in the Congo as was Luke Norris in A View from the Bridge. I’m delighted to welcome them both back to play patient and doctor in Matthew Xia’s production of Joe Penhall’s edge-of-seat state of the nation masterpiece, Blue/Orange.
“Kathryn Hunter’s virtuoso performance as Kafka’s Monkey has been seen for two seasons with us and literally across the globe. The Emperor is probably the best known book by the great Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński. An allegory of absolute power, this new adaptation is by the Kafka’s Monkey team: actor Kathryn Hunter, director Walter Meierjohann and writer Colin Teevan. A co-production with HOME Manchester and the Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg.
“When The Nest premiered, Franz Xavier Kroetz was the most performed, most controversial young dramatist in Germany and across Europe. Forty years on, this modern tragedy has a prescience and a power that is undiminished. A young father, anxious to provide his new child with all society expects, commits one act that costs him everything. Conor McPherson’s eloquent new version will be directed by Ian Rickson whose last production for us was Hamlet with Michael Sheen. A co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
“South Africa, Hollywood, Ethiopia, Germany, Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming you to all those places and to The Cut in Waterloo.”
Lucy Woollatt, Executive Director of the Young Vic said:
“Last year the Young Vic produced 26 shows (including our work on tour and in the West End and for our Taking Part programme). Sustained public investment, alongside philanthropic giving and collaboration with other venues allows us to open up this work to a wide audience; it enables us to keep our ticket prices low and to continue to give away 10% of our seats free to targeted audiences.
“Alongside the theatre programme for 2016, our Taking Part department continues to engage with marginalized groups including refugees and those with communication difficulties through its parallel productions and free workshops. In 2015 we welcomed over 11 000 of our neighbours to work on these projects.”
A Man of Good Hope, Once in a Lifetime, The Emperor and The Nest follow these previously announced shows: If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me – Jane Horrocks and Aletta Collins’ celebration of the music of bands including The Smiths and Joy Division (10 March – 16 April); Cuttin’ It by Charlene James, a play which deals with the practice of FGM in the UK, directed by Gbolahan Obisesan (20 May – 11 June); Simon Stone’s new version of Lorca’s Yerma for which an extra preview has been added (now 28 July – 10 September); and the winners of two Genesis Future Directors Awards – Ola Ince directing Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman (6 – 16 April) and Bryony Shanahan directing debbie tucker green’s trade (16 – 26 November). There is also a chance for London audiences to see Living With The Lights On, the personal story of actor Mark Lockyear directed by Ramin Gray.